March 18, 2015

Five Sentences That Keep Me Single

Five Sentences For Which My Only Response Is "Bye"

Don't get me wrong - I love men. They're smart, they're sexy, and they seem to have opening bottles and jars on the first try down to a science. 

Not to mention the other thing...


So yes, I love men. But just like our friends and especially our families, sometimes men say things to me that absolutely piss me off. And unfortunately for them, sometime they say them on dates.
Given the playful mood I'm in today, I decided to share.

Here are five things that men have said to me on dates that sent me walking, sporting a smile and relief, heels clicking all the way out the door.

In situations where I demonstrated confidence, or opted not to change something like my hair, an outfit, etc. at his advisement.

You need to learn to let a man be man.

Erm...no.


No, I do not need to learn to let a man be a man. I shouldn't need to let you do anything. I am not stopping you from being a man simply by being my little ole 100 lb self. 
You're pedaling out this tired phrase because I've said or done something that for some reason or another, you perceive to be emasculating. Since I'm not in the habit of toting around a machete with which to castrate my dates, the likelihood is that the source of your feelings of emasculation is not something that I said or did, but rather a lack of security in your own manhood that has nothing whatsoever to do with me. Had you your own personal security you would recognize my personal confidence for what it is - personal confidence. Not some attack on your ego. Not some deficiency that I should quickly correct if I ever hope to find a man who can stand to be in the same room with me and my confidence. 

Shortly put:

No, I don't need to learn to let you be a man. You just need to learn to be one. 

What makes you think that you should be so confident?


Simple: My existence

I know who I am. I've known myself for quite a while, in fact. I've lived, I've learned (I haven't gotten Luvs because, in fact, I have yet to give birth) I've watched myself pursue goals that seemed lightyears away and impossible, and watched myself achieve them, only to move on to pursue bigger and better things. 

I am a talented, accomplished, educated, dead sexy in my sweatpants, Oxford comma over-using, and rather fabulous individual. I don't think that I should be so confident - I know.

The more important question is: Who do you think you are to challenge the validity of my personal confidence and security, my comfort in my own skin, my serenity, and why would you seek to do so?

When I declined help with something I could handle on my own.

ie: picking out a bottle of wine, calculating a tip, parking my own car.


If you don't need me to help you with anything or fix anything, I don't feel like I'm important. 

Yikes. 

First, let me say that I'm really, really sorry that you feel that way. 


Second, while I do apologize that you feel that way, I do not apologize for not needing your help, nor will I apologize for not pretending to. 


In the case of the wine: I've been drinking wine for five years, I go to tastings regularly, I actively endeavor to expand my pallet, and along the way, yes, I have developed preferences, taste and certain sensibilities. I understand the appeal of wanting to suggest a bottle of wine, or an entree at a restaurant. It's a demonstration of sophistication, knowledge of culture, of taste. Problem is, and especially when it's insistent, it also assumes a certain lack of sophistication, culture and taste in me. Me who, even without being a rather classy and cultured little thing, is a big girl and knows what she wants to eat and drink, thank you very much.

In the case of the tip: I went to school. I could calculate 15%, 20% and 25% before middle school, and as it happens I proceeded on to high school and then college. If that wasn't enough I have not one but two accountants for parents. If you think I need help calculating a tip you're bonkers. You are not on a date with a third grader!

Not to mention, there's an app for that.

Also, I am close friends with quite a few people in the service industry and if you try to "help" me by showing me a quick way to calculate 10%, I'll never go out with you again. 15% is what you tip when service is bad. 10% is downright insulting.
I
t's also insulting to me, not just as a woman but as an adult, that you would automatically assume that I need help with rather basic math. Maybe you should stop trying to help me and help yourself to some Restaurant Etiquette 101.

In the case of the car: You may have given yourself to permission to assume that I'm a bad driver because I'm a woman, but I do not assume that you are a good driver because you are a man. Help me find a parking spot? - Fine. A second pair of eyes is helpful. Hold a spot for me if you arrive at our destination first? - Sure. That's considerate (and brave, considering that NY'ers are f-ing crazy). But park my car for me?

You know I'm usually in this thing by myself, right? Also, you're not on my insurance.

Calm down, Tarzan. I can do it.

Seriously, though. You want to feel helpful, I get that. But you're missing it. I'm proud of who I am - and part of who I am is what I can do and what I do well. I'm not going to pretend it's my first time in a restaurant so that you can feel like Christian Grey, or pretend I can't cross multiply so that you can feel smart, or act like I've never parked my car before so that you can save the day. If you just let things happen naturally there would indeed come a time when I genuinely needed your help. The time would come, I promise you! I'm really bad at opening olives and pickles, for example. And reaching things on top shelves. That's all you! Picking up heavy things and putting them down - help out all you want! But swooping down on every situation where I'm handling myself without a problem and offering your unsolicited "help" isn't going to work for me. And don't think I don't know that it's really less about "helping" me and more about an ego boost for you.

To go to even more of an extreme, after I bought myself some admittedly expensive tea leaves from Teavanna once (in my defense, it was my Christmas gift to myself) my boyfriend at the time commented that he'd have to "watch those credit card bills". First, we'd been dating for all of a month. Second, my credit is perfect. Third, he'd neglected to pay his light bill the month before and had spent a week and half before said conversation took place in a candle lit existence due to his irresponsibility. Had I even been thinking that far into the future, if anyone had to worry about the financial habits of their partner, it was me.

But sidestepping that, this is a perfect example of a man trying to build himself up by painting a lady as less-than. He couldn't even manage his own finances, yet he fancied himself the rescuer of mine. He later expressed that the usually dated women who had some kind of major life crisis going on, because helping them gave him a sense of purpose - this was in an attempt to explain why my "together-ness" made him so uncomfortable.

Yikes!

If you need to be with a person who has some kind of major life problem and ends up dependent on you, because you don't feel important otherwise, you have a problem. If you surround yourself or only date insecure, troubled our wounded people, you are trying to inflate your self-esteem and self-importance using the struggles of others. There's something terribly wrong with that! If this is you, go seek psychological help, and stop attacking balanced people for not being damaged enough to feed your ego.

When I disagreed with something he said, or challenged rude or disrespectful behavior. 


Before you express your opinions you should consider that people might have feelings about them. 

Okay...

...and then what?

Should I opt not to share my thoughts? Should I only express the thoughts that I think others will agree with? Should I not speak at all if it seems like someone might not like what I have to say?

Tell me, please, because I'm very curious to know.

I'm very interested in knowing the rules about when I am and am not allowed to express my citizen-of-a-free-country, adult, employed, tax paying, college educated, well read, diligently researched and informed opinions.



Have you ever heard the phrase, "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all?"

Yes. Yes, I have. From my Kindergarten teacher. The same one who was pushing all kinds of "stay in your place, little lady" ideology, like "sugar and spice and everything nice". You know what? No, I'm not going to shut up if I don't have something nice to say. Sometimes one has to say things that aren't nice. It's not nice to tell someone that they're being rude and presumptuous if they disrespectfully cross a boundary - it still needs to be said. It's not nice to say "no" to people when they ask you for something you don't want to give them. It needs to be said.

Permission to speak is not something that anyone has the authority to grant me. You don't get to turn me down or turn me off just because you don't like what I have to say. Period.

And there you are. The five sentences (that stand out to me most at the moment, because goodness knows there are more where those came from) that keep me single, satirical, and happily enjoying my autonomy.

Now if we were doing most annoying and sexist things men have ever said to me, not just on dates but ever, I'd write an essay on "Smile, you're beautiful."

::rolls eyes::

But I'm in a good mood.

Perhaps another day...



Belle

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